By now, most everyone in Loudoun has heard about the frustration among many local school teachers, as well as many parents, over the decision to give teachers a commemorative “Challenge Coin” to honor their hard work during the pandemic. While teachers received the coin, many administrators reportedly received cash bonuses.

To turn what some are perceiving as a negative into a positive, scores of area businesses have decided to offer special discounts and deals to teachers who present their challenge coin this summer.

One of the driving forces behind Challenge Coin discounts is local photographer and mom, Elizabeth Whitley. “We took our distance-learning kindergartener to meet his teachers outside of school to say goodby and so he could give them some drawings,” Whitley told The Burn. “We started discussing summer plans and our hopes for the next school year, and the challenge coins came up. You could see they were very underwhelmed by the gesture, so I joked, ‘Too bad we can’t get businesses to use it as currency. Give your coin and get a sandwich.’ They laughed and one replied, ‘I’d give it for a happy hour.’ I thought about it for a second and said, ‘I’m going to make this happen.’ I posted on Facebook and slowly but surely offers started coming in.”

Whitley has compiled a Google Document with many — if not most — of the area businesses offering discounts and other special benefits to teachers who received the Challenge Coin. You can see that ever-growing list here. And if you are a business that would like to add your special teacher offer to the list, you can go to this link.